Monday, July 25, 2011
Drifting? What the heck is that? It’s sort of like taking up slack…but it is really paying more attention to which way uke wants to go and letting them go that way. Every time I am grabbed I notice where uke is heading. By letting uke go in the direction they want to… all resistance disappears.
By paying attention from my center I am able to let my uke lead and follow simultaneously as I start the technique that will happen between us. The world gets quiet and still as uke grabs and follows as I lead the drift and connection that creates the feeling that is Aikido. The peace and relaxation that follows calms my spirit and restores harmony in me and hopefully my uke.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
This can be a long, lonely journey or one that is a complete adventure. Each class provides yet another opportunity to meet yourself.
My journey is both…though mostly, lately it is filled with joy. I have hung in there though the hard parts. Through classes that seemed like I am never going to get it and that everyone else gets it. Through times where people have left our dojo because of what and how I was teaching. Through times where Ron’s teacher acted badly and I wanted to leave and Ron wasn’t ready to leave yet. Through times where my oldest daughter was missing for months and I would cry at every class. Through classes where there was 25 people on the mat and times where there is 3 including Ron and I. Through a dojo that was in a dirty youth center basement where the roof leaked and kids ran all over the mat with their shoes on. Through teaching everywhere and anywhere I could; churches, schools, colleges, town fairs, inside and outside, company seminars, weird collections of various martial arts events, strange summer camps…anywhere that would have me.
Now, here we are at a beautiful dojo that is attached to my house. We have classes 4 days a week so Ron and I get to train all the time. We get to do ki exercises together most mornings.
Thank you to all our students. Thank you for those who show up 4 times a week, twice a week and once a week. Thank you to the students that just come to seminars. Thank you to all the students who came… trained for a while and stopped for whatever reason. Thank you to the students who left angry and frustrated. You have all taught me so much.
Thank you to the students who pay your dues every month on time. Thank you to students who pay what they can when they can. Thank you to the students who pay extra for students who can’t pay. Thank you to the student who paid $500 a month dues when we first started teaching in our present town when we had 4 teenagers and not much income.
Thank you all for showing up so we can train. To me that is all that matters. All the rest is just blather in the wind. You and I and all the rest who come that particular day make joy. We connect, we throw, we fall, we work on ki development, we sweat and then we go back into our lives a little lighter and a little more able to be present in whatever the day throws at us.
Thank you, Thank you. Thank you…I can’t thank you enough. I am so grateful for you all.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
This morning I had a moment that almost hurt with joy. It was a small class. The sun was shining. All the windows and doors were open giving the illusion of being outside. The air was clear. The fans created a slight breeze. I could smell woods, blossoms and sweat.
We were practicing ryote tori shiho nage... focusing on bending uke's elbow with the second hand, keeping nage's arms on a horizontal plane and doing an L step.
I used to Hate, Hate, Hate shiho nage. A couple of years ago I decided to change my perspective. I embraced shiho nage.
At first, I was definitely acting as if. Now I am loving it. I am still not great at it. There are awkward moments. However, my self acceptance and my openness to each unique uke and moment are increasing.
I have declared this the summer of shiho nage. Each class we do shiho nage from some attack. I am focusing on three fundamental aspects. Who knows? By winter the awkward moments could be less as I relax more and more.
I let go of the beauty of the morning to be in this moment with a little reget. Summer passes so swiftly.